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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 17503
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I will try to keep this short. My ex and I were never

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I will try to keep this short. My ex and I were never married and we currently have a 9 year old son. Around this time last year, he filed for custody (This is in Ohio.) I had about two days to hire an attorney and was told I wouldn't lose custody since I am not a drug addict, alcoholic, abuser, etc. My son had 100% been with me since day one. My lawyer took on the case and at our first hearing my lawyer insisted with a Guardian Ad Litem, as it was easier than a trial. I wanted a trial, as the accusations he was making against me were all false, one of them claiming my son gets made fun of at school because he wore a sweatshirt with a hole in the sleeve. Even though I was not happy with a GAL, she interviewed us separately in her office, than made her separate house calls; each time talking to my son. Now, I will need to point out that my lawyer never gave me any advice on how to be with her, as far as any accusations on him. I had to educate myself online and all sites said to let the GAL figure things out on her own. Needless to say, I kept my mouth shut about him and all he did was talk bad about me. He has never taken my son to a doctor, dentist, his surgeon, school conferences, open houses, etc. All responsibility was on me. In fact, my ex texted me while he was in the meeting with her asking me the name of my son's doctor. I had witnesses already to go, in case she needed them. The GAL report came back in and even though the doctor, dentist, surgeon AND school all gave me a great report (the school stated he's one of the most popular kid's in class), my son also gets great grades; she sided with my ex all based on my 8 year old son's ability to make the decision himself. She stated, "he has a great head on his shoulders and is mature enough to make this decision." He wanted to live with his dad because he gets whatever he wants over there, even though he did not state that to the GAL. Not once in that time frame did I get to defend myself and accuse him of never being around my son for the first 4 years of his life. My son has now been living with his dad for eight months and he has yet to follow through on any of things he said he was going to do, including taking him to a dentist. I am currently at a loss, because my son has had a sore tooth for over two months and I am now stuck taking him to a dentist this week to get it pulled (after a round of antibiotics). I knew this kind of thing would happen...I knew this whole time this was about getting out of child support and still not having the responsibilities. We established my child support a week and a half ago, so he's getting his money, yet I'm still doing the full time parent thing. My lawyer stated that getting a new GAL is a big mistake and that it looks bad on me. Everyone I know has been insisting that I need a new lawyer (which is hard due to money) and he wasn't even in attendance for my child support hearing. Is there anything I can do to prove to the courts, including the GAL, that my ex is not following through on the responsibilities so that I can get my son back? Should I get a new lawyer? I have tried to keep this short, as there is MUCH more in between stuff. I just need help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello: This is PhillipsEsq. I am a licensed Attorney and I will be assisting you today.
I will try to keep this short. My ex and I were never married and we currently have a 9 year old son. Around this time last year, he filed for custody (This is in Ohio.) I had about two days to hire an attorney and was told I wouldn't lose custody since I am not a drug addict, alcoholic, abuser, etc. My son had 100% been with me since day one. My lawyer took on the case and at our first hearing my lawyer insisted with a Guardian Ad Litem, as it was easier than a trial. I wanted a trial, as the accusations he was making against me were all false, one of them claiming my son gets made fun of at school because he wore a sweatshirt with a hole in the sleeve. Even though I was not happy with a GAL, she interviewed us separately in her office, than made her separate house calls; each time talking to my son. Now, I will need to point out that my lawyer never gave me any advice on how to be with her, as far as any accusations on him. I had to educate myself online and all sites said to let the GAL figure things out on her own. Needless to say, I kept my mouth shut about him and all he did was talk bad about me. He has never taken my son to a doctor, dentist, his surgeon, school conferences, open houses, etc. All responsibility was on me. In fact, my ex texted me while he was in the meeting with her asking me the name of my son's doctor. I had witnesses already to go, in case she needed them. The GAL report came back in and even though the doctor, dentist, surgeon AND school all gave me a great report (the school stated he's one of the most popular kid's in class), my son also gets great grades; she sided with my ex all based on my 8 year old son's ability to make the decision himself. She stated, "he has a great head on his shoulders and is mature enough to make this decision." He wanted to live with his dad because he gets whatever he wants over there, even though he did not state that to the GAL. Not once in that time frame did I get to defend myself and accuse him of never being around my son for the first 4 years of his life. My son has now been living with his dad for eight months and he has yet to follow through on any of things he said he was going to do, including taking him to a dentist. I am currently at a loss, because my son has had a sore tooth for over two months and I am now stuck taking him to a dentist this week to get it pulled (after a round of antibiotics). I knew this kind of thing would happen...I knew this whole time this was about getting out of child support and still not having the responsibilities. We established my child support a week and a half ago, so he's getting his money, yet I'm still doing the full time parent thing. My lawyer stated that getting a new GAL is a big mistake and that it looks bad on me. Everyone I know has been insisting that I need a new lawyer (which is hard due to money) and he wasn't even in attendance for my child support hearing. Is there anything I can do to prove to the courts, including the GAL, that my ex is not following through on the responsibilities so that I can get my son back? Should I get a new lawyer? I have tried to keep this short, as there is MUCH more in between stuff. I just need help!
Response:Tell your Attorney to file Complaint for Modification of Custody and Visitation and request that the child be returned to you because your ex lied to GAL to get the child and get away from paying child support and now your son is suffering because of his lies. You also need to file Emergency Motion for Temporary Custody and ask the child be returned to you immediately because he is at risk at his father’s. Give examples of what the father has neglected to do especially the child's dental issues. The dental problem is a big red flag that he has failed miserably as a parent and the child is in real danger staying with him and must be returned to you without further delay.
GAL CANNOT make decision on custody based solely on the child's preferences. First, the child can be easily influenced by a parent. Second, the child is not in a position to determine what is in his best interests. If the GAL made the decision based on what the child wants, that decision is improper and must be challenged. This means filing Motion to Dispense with the GAL's report and Filing Complaint for Modification of Custody and Visitation.

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